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East Caribbean telecom investment jumps 29%

Investment in the telecoms sector in Eastern Caribbean states jumped 29 percent to USD 157 million in the year to end-March 2015, according to the regulator for the region, Ectel.

Ectel, which administers the sector in Dominica, Grenada, St. Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, said the increase in investment largely reflected infrastructure upgrades for the launch of 4G/HSPA+ mobile broadband services.

The additional investment follows growth of 35 percent recorded in the previous period.

In its annual investment report, Ectel also revealed that the number of fixed broadband subscriptions rose 11 percent to 97,000 at end-March 2015, bringing the penetration rate to 19.2 percent, up from 17.2 percent in the previous period.

Ectel said 4G/HSPA+ mobile broadband service was available in all member states at the end of March 2015, with the number of mobile broadband subscriptions up by over 400 percent to 205,000.

A report by Ovum, published in June, found that the Latin America and the Caribbean was the world’s second-fastest LTE growth region at the end of the first quarter of 2016, behind Central and Southern Asia.